US newspaper advertising revenue plunged more than 27 percent last year, with both print and online registering double-digit declines, the Newspaper Association of America said.
Combined print and online advertising revenue fell 27.2 percent in 2009 to 27.56 billion dollars from 37.84 billion dollars the previous year, according to NAA figures released on Wednesday.
Print advertising revenue dropped 28.6 percent in 2009 to 24.82 billion dollars while online advertising revenue declined by 11.8 percent to 2.74 billion dollars, the NAA said.
Classified advertising revenue was particularly hard hit, falling by 38.1 percent last year to 6.17 billion dollars.
Free online sites such as Craigslist have devastated classified advertising since the ads reached a peak of 19.6 billion dollars in 2000, the year print advertising revenue also hit an all-time high of 48.67 billion dollars.
Newspapers across the United States have been grappling with a slide in advertising revenue, steadily declining circulation and the migration of readers to free news online.
The industry has been hit by a wave of bankruptcies, job cuts and closures, including a bankruptcy filing by the Tribune Co., owner of the Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times and other major newspapers.
The 100-year-old Christian Science Monitor and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer went online-only last year.
The Rocky Mountain News of Denver, Colorado, shut down entirely, along with a number of smaller newspapers.
With advertising revenue evaporating, top US newspaper executives led by News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch have been looking at ways to begin charging readers for news on the Web.
Explore further: Google X: Secret lab for 'moonshot' research